Lost in Cinema Babel? Not with Lost in Frenchlation

Lost in Cinema Babel? Not with Lost in Frenchlation

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Studio 28
courtesy of Studio 28

Paris boasts hundreds of movie theaters showing films of every genre, epoch, and country. If you want, you can come here and keep up on the latest Hollywood product (sometimes even before its U.S. release). It would be a shame, though, for the sojourner to miss out on the wide assortment of French-language films. Yet if you don’t speak the language it’s difficult to appreciate a French film, given how verbal many of them are.

When I first came to France I watched French movies precisely to help learn the language, but often had no idea what exactly was going on– up on the screen. Unsurprisingly many Anglos are put off from even giving the French cinema a chance.

Two enterprising individuals– an Australian who lived in Paris for a year without daring to see a French film, and a Parisienne crazy about the cinema– have put together a service to bridge the gap between the Francophile-cinephile who’s not quite Francophone, and French films. They call it Lost in Frenchlation.

Matt Bryan and Manon Kerjean organize monthly screening of French films, with English subtitles. To increase the conviviality among their international public, a cocktail party (typically with a cinema theme) is held before the showing of the film. The fare is a mix of box office successes and classic movies. The pair plan on creating a start-up and attracting capital, and dream of opening their own movie house one day. For now they collaborate with interested theaters, often the art house Studio 28 in Montmartre. The service is run on a non-profit basis, their expenses covered with the pre-film receptions.

Matt and Manon promote the screenings via a web site and Facebook page. They are hitting the new year running with a screening on Friday, January 8. The program features Un Plus Une, directed by Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman), and starring Jeen Dujardin (The Artist). Un Plus Une tells the story of a film composer who travels to India to work on a Bollywood remake of Romeo and Juliet, after which numerous complications ensue. The cocktail party, naturally, will feature Indian specialties!

Lost in Frenchlation
Flyer for Lost in Frenchlation
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Dimitri Keramitas was born and raised in Connecticut, USA, and was educated at the University of Hartford, Sorbonne, and the University of London, and holds degrees in literature and law. He has lived in Paris for years, and directs a training company and translation agency. In addition, he has worked as a film critic for both print and on-line publications, including Bonjour Paris and France Today. He is a contributing editor to Movies in American History. In addition he is an award-winning writer of fiction, whose stories have been published in many literary journals. He is the director of the creative writing program at WICE, a Paris-based organization. He is also a director at the Paris Alumni Network, an organization linking together several hundred professionals, and is the editor of its newletter. The father of two children, Dimitri not only enjoys Paris living but returning to the US regularly and traveling in Europe and elsewhere.

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